Derek observes the scene, back tense and hands curled and ready, but the sky is clear and the waves are gently lapping at the hot sand. Nobody is screaming or dying and the only people running are the kids, laughing as they enjoy their day at the beach.
He finds Scott laid out on a towel, not drowned or bleeding but… working on his tan?
Derek huffs, marching over to him, his boots sinking into the sand and slowing his progress unpleasantly. Scott must hear him coming because he perks up, his face stretching in an unabashed smile Derek refuses to think is cute after Scott’s false alarm.
“I don’t see any murderous mermaids.” Scott’s face falls and Derek would feel bad but he just drove a four hour drive in two and he’s wearing his fighting jeans. The black ones that he doesn’t have to worry about staining, but that in hindsight were a bad idea for the middle of July.
Scott shrugs, taking off his sunglasses. “Yeah, it was a big misunderstanding. She was trying to save the surfer from a shark but you know, the language barrier got in the way.”
It takes a moment for the implications of that the sink in. “You speak… mermish?”
“No, but she spoke Spanish.” Scott seems to be done with the conversation and is rummaging into the beach bag at his side.
Derek shuffles awkwardly, suddenly not knowing what to do with his hands. “Okay then. I’m just going to…”
That’s when Scott pulls out an extra pair of swim trunks and Derek realizes that there’s two towels laying on the sand. Unbidden, he feels a small spark of pleasure rise inside him even as he tries to smother it with a scowl.
“Was this a trick? Was there even a mermaid?”
Scott’s eyes widen slightly and he nods his head vigorously. “Yes!“ He shouts. "I mean, no! Yes to the mermaid, no to the trick.” He calms in the next second. “I wouldn’t lie to you about that. I thought there was danger and I called you. By the time everything was cleared up with the mermaid you were probably already half way here and I just thought… you know.” He twists the trunks in his hands. “You can go if you want.”
Derek doesn’t say anything, shifting his weight between his feet. There’s already sand in his boots. Guess he doesn’t really have a choice.
He sighs, grabbing the swim trunks and stomping away towards the changing rooms before Scott can say anything more.
When Derek gets back Scott beams at him and it’s brighter than the summer sun. “Come on, I’ll put sunscreen on your back.”